Breaking out of the rut for a brand new year

Every year without fail I plunge into with renewed enthusiasm the quest to be a thinner man.

I do get frustrated being described as being broad as I’m tall. This was furthered heighted by recent encounters in the hospital.

Derry women especially older Derry women usually in their forties and upwards have a great way of bringing back down to earth with a bang.

Even when they’re sitting on a hospital bed they never fail to dispense words of encouragement.

I walked into a four bedded room and I woman I vaguely knew greeted me with these words: ‘Father I see you’re nearly put all the weight back on again.” The poor woman might have been ill but there was nothing wrong with her eyesight.

So after the first week of January on a cool, wet and dark winter’s morning I dragged myself out of bed to be in the gym for 8am.

The night before it seemed a great idea but getting out of my warm bed, rolling back my Liverpool duvet cover seemed near impossible.

I’ve tried for years to train on my own but it never works, so I’d organised to meet a trainer. From 6.30am I’m hoping to receive a text message from the trainer to say he has to cancel. This only ever happens now and again and I don’t like to cancel myself because he’s bigger than me and he can make a training session very difficult.

During January the gym is always packed as all non to subtle Christmas presents are used not to mention various New Year’s resolutions are being acted upon.

Then you have those who have reached a mid-life crisis. Most men meet their mid-life crisis around 42/43.

For women allegedly their mid-life crisis can begin at 15 and usually lasts the rest of their lives. And if I keep talking like this I mightn’t reach my mid-life crisis!

Of course exercise is only one half of the solution; I need to be careful what I eat. So plenty fruit and vegetables are on the menu.

Even on my morning off I have to be careful. My mother asked me this week did I want a fry and I had the will power to say no.

Being all health and diet conscious I took sausages and toast instead. It takes a lot of effort to make changes to our lives no matter how ordinary or small.

The routine which governs our daily lives can become a crutch without which we struggle and feel lost. Breaking out of any rut can be difficult; so when Jesus called his disciples away from their livelihoods and homes something radical and profound has been demanded.

As we listen to the beginnings of Matthew’s gospel the evangelist creates a sense of urgency in our response to Jesus’ call.

As Jesus proclaims the kingdom we’re confronted with what we need to change to be able to hear and respond to God’s word.